What makes an Indian restaurant good isn't just the quality of the spices it uses or the touch of its tandoori -- although those things are very, very important indeed -- but also the way the proprietors welcome diners, treating them as if they were a significant part of the transaction. That attitude is very much in evidence at the simple but elegant Star of India, an amiable Indian eatery in an Aurora strip mall that not only serves beautifully prepared and luscious Indian food, but does so with a friendliness that makes dining there a pleasure. Owners Paul Gill and his parents, mom Kapoor and dad Gurmukh, worked with chef Balwant Singh on the menu, so the recipes are a collaboration that benefits from Singh's culinary background and the family's down-home Indian sensibilities. The resulting dishes pair meats so tender they seem almost unreal with pungent, deeply layered sauces that rely on tranditional Indian spicing methods. The lamb korma
and shrimp vindaloo are knockouts, and Star of India's tandoori wings put Buffalo's versions to shame. The restaurant's naan
sense is sound, too, because the flatbreads are the best in town, especially the sweet, raisin-studded kabli
. All in all, this Star's future looks bright.
Readers' choice: Little India